A Case for Veggies

an old-fashioned idea What’s with all this veggie content lately? Where’s the beef?

Well, frankly, we feel like exploring vegetables, grains and the like for a bit. How often do you find yourself eating meat with every meal of the day? To have sausage with breakfast, a hamburger at lunch and chicken for dinner is not atypical. Look at the meat though, was that sausage made with the nasty bits and leftovers? Was the hamburger from a fast food joint? Was the chicken from a factory farm?

If you buy a potato it’s always a potato, if you buy a sausage it’s not always a sausage. Potatoes can’t hide fatty fillers and chemical binders under their jackets but a sausage sure can.

Consider a different menu every once in a while. Try fried tomatoes with breakfast, falafel or pasta at lunch and spanokopita or three bean chili for dinner.

There are so many options but we often get stuck in ruts, mindlessly throwing the same things in our shopping carts week after week. Look at things like lentils, soba noodles, quinoa, brown rice. Do they frighten you? Why? All you have to do it cook them like pasta. Boil in salted water until tender, drain and serve.

What about the endless varieties of curry pastes and powders? Just grab one and get in the kitchen to experiment with it. Butternut squash tossed with biryani paste and roasted, tandoori masala powder mixed with yogurt coats cauliflower before sauteeing it up with lots of garlic and onions, eggplant stewed with okra and tomato in a curried coconut sauce.

Closer to home, put whole wheat pasta in your mac n cheese and serve it with rapini or make a chili with beans and corn, lasagna with spinach, sweet pepper and feta frittata, burritos with sweet potato, black bean and chipotle, corn chowder with potatoes and leeks, eggplant parmesan, stuffed peppers with rice and tomato, wild mushroom risotto, spinach and sundried tomato quiche….

We’ve gone from a generation of meat and potatoes to a generation of anything goes. You have more choice than anyone has ever had in the history of the planet. Embrace that.

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